"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."
~ Ronald Reagan
No one likes war. It is a horrible thing. But regardless of your political beliefs or your feelings about sending men and women into battle, Memorial Day is a day to remember those brave soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.
So while you are enjoying the holiday, with friends, family or alone, please stop to pause and reflect; and remember those who died so you could live in freedom.
Every year I write a Memorial Day post. In the past, I’ve scoured the Internet for photos and videos that help me remember the true meaning of Memorial Day. This year, I had the good fortune to attend a conference in Washington, D.C. just a couple of weeks ago. I visited several memorials, and share with you today some of the photos I took.
Arlington National Cemetery
This is one of the most humbling and revered places I’ve ever been. Photos do not do it justice.
Tomb of the Unknowns. The inscription reads, “Here rests in honored glory, and American soldier known but to God”. The Tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you ever go to Arlington, you must see the changing of the guard ceremony:
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
This was, for me, the most emotional of all the memorials I visited. There are 58,261 names of those killed and still missing and unaccounted for carved into the granite of “The Wall”.
I watched this Vietnam veteran get out of a wheelchair, diligently look for a specific name, and reach out and touch it. Several times, with several different names.
Before he finished, everyone around him was weeping like a baby. It was incredibly powerful and emotional
Korean War Memorial
National World War II Memorial
United States Marine Corp War Memorial
The USMC War Memorial was a five minute walk from my hotel, so I stopped by one evening after midnight. I highly recommend a late night visit as you get a completely different feeling and perspective standing there alone.
Please, don’t ever forget the soldiers, and their families, that gave their lives in the line of duty.
You may also want to check out yesterday’s post, Open letter to the Arizona Congressional Delegation ”“ Please fix the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005. Read about a flawed law that allows property management companies to prevent renters from flying the American flag…